In an America magazine podcast promoting his forthcoming book, Between Heaven and Mirth (HarperOne, 2011), Jesuit Father James Martin talks about how joy and laughter are essential to the spiritual life. Here are a few snippets:
- There are many instances of humor in the Bible, says Martin, starting with Abraham, who, when he was told by an angel that his wife Sarah at age 97 was going to have a baby, "falls on his face laughing." Sarah laughs too. And so when their son is born, they name him Isaac, meaning "he laughs."
- "At the beginning of our religion--Early Judaism, Christianity, and Islam--is a story of laughter. Laughter is something God is inviting us to."
- "When I was a Jesuit novice I asked the Jesuit Superior General Fr. Peter Hans Kolvenbach, 'How do we increase vocations?' and he said, "Live your own joyfully."